The Book of Ron Paul
1997 Ron Paul Chapter 24

Housing Opportunity and Responsibility Act of 1997

30 April 1997

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Congressional Record (Page H2037)   Cached

Mr. DREIER. Mr. Speaker, I’d like to yield 2 minutes to my very good friend from Surfside Beach, Texas, Dr. Paul.
Mr. SPEAKER. The gentleman from Surfside Beach, Texas is recognized for 2 minutes.

1997 Ron Paul 24:1
Mr. PAUL. Thank you very much. I ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. Mr. SPEAKER. Without objection.

1997 Ron Paul 24:2

1997 Ron Paul 24:3
And, Mr. Chairman, I appreciate very much the yilding of the time. I am very pleased to be able to support this rule coming to the floor, and pleased that it is an open rule. We will have a chance to debate housing. I think it is a very important debate. We have had this debate going on now for several weeks in the Housing Committee. Unfortunately, as far as I am concerned, the debate has not keyed in on the real important issue of whether or not public housing is a good idea.

1997 Ron Paul 24:4
This particular piece of legislation does very little than juggle the bureaucrats in hopes that it will do some good. Public housing started in 1937 with the U.S. Housing Act, and we have been living with public housing ever since. In the 1960’s, in 1965 HUD was created, and since that time, we have spent literally hundreds of billions of dollars.

1997 Ron Paul 24:5
We have no evidence of any sort to show that public housing is a good idea. It causes a great deal of problems and actually takes housing away from many, many poor people. But it costs a lot of money and costs a lot of hardship to a lot of people. The principle of public housing is what needs to be debated. Hopefully, in the general debate and in the debate over the amendments, we will be able to direct a debate in that area.

1997 Ron Paul 24:6
One thing that I think our side, the side that I represent, that is the free market and the constitutional approach to housing, we have, I would grant you, done a very poor job in presenting the views on how poor people get houses in a free society. Since we have had 30 years of experience and there is proof now that it leads to corruption and drug-ridden public housing projects that don’t last very long and it costs too much money, we ourselves who present the market view have not done a good job, emphasizing lower taxes, less regulation and growth economy, sound monetary policy, low interest rates; this is what will eventually give housing to the poor people.

1997 Ron Paul 24:7
But I think it is very important that we not construe anybody who opposes this bill as being one that has
Mr. SPEAKER. The gentleman’s time has expired.the notion or rejects the idea.

1997 Ron Paul 24:8
Mr. DREIER. I’d like to yield my friend an additional minute, Mr. Speaker.

1997 Ron Paul 24:9
Mr. SPEAKER. The gentleman is recognized for one additional minute.

1997 Ron Paul 24:10
Mr. PAUL. endorsed the notion or rejects the idea.

1997 Ron Paul 24:11
I thank the gentleman for yielding.

1997 Ron Paul 24:12
The one other point that I would like to make is one of the arguments in favor of this bill is that it is going to be saving some money in the bureaucratic process. But if this is the case, one must look very closely at the CBO figures, because last year the HUD budget took $25-plus billion. This year, with this wonderful new program, we will be asking, according to CBO, $30.4 billion, an increase of about $5 billion. And this isn’t the end, it is just the beginning. So this is an expansion of the spending on public housing.

1997 Ron Paul 24:13
By the year 2002, it goes up to $36 billion. So the best I can tell is that we were working on the fringes, we are not dealing with the real issues, we are not dealing with the principle of whether or not public housing is a good program.

1997 Ron Paul 24:14
I, for one, think we can do a lot more for the poor people. There are more homeless now, after spending nearly $600 billion over these last 20 years, than we had before. So I’m on record for saying we must do more but we can do more by looking more carefully at the market.


1997 Ron Paul 24:2

Here, Ron Paul says, Mr. Chairman by mistake, as it is not a meeting of the Committee of the Whole.

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